OLLI @Berkeley's monthly newsletter

Table of Contents
Mid-term Feedback Session
From Boom to Bust: A Roundtable Discussion
Higher Education Day
SharpBrains Summit
Faculty Profile: Dan Kammen
Osher Foundation Endowment
The Lunch Bunch
New Book by Harry Kreisler
OLLI Annual Fund
Free Batteries
OLLI Website

Donate to OLLI

Events Calendar

Find us on Facebook
Other Resources

Berkeley Arts and Letters

Healthy Computing Tips
OLLI @Berkeley Staff
Susan Hoffman

Program Coordinator:
Aileen Kim

Program Assistants:
Marisa Cadena Belski
Satya Levine

OLLI @Berkeley
University of California
1925 Walnut St #1570
Berkeley, CA 94720-1570
tel. 510.642.9934
fax  510.642.2202

Mid-term Feedback Session

Come share your thoughts on your OLLI experience. What are we doing right? What would make your classes even better? We count on your feedback to keep OLLI learning and growing and bringing you the programing you want.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
12:00-12:45 pm

Room 41B University Hall
2199 Addison Street

From Boom to Bust: Insights into the Economic Downturn One Year Later
A roundtable discussion with UC Berkeley faculty Brad DeLong, Martha Olney, Robert Reich, and David Robinson.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010
1-3 p.m.
Freight and Salvage Coffee House
2020 Addison St. (at Shattuck Ave.)
$5-20 sliding scale

March 4: Higher Education Day in Sacramento

Education advocates will be making a trip to Sacramento on March 4 to urge lawmakers to support more public funding for education.  If you are interested in linking up with other OLLI members who will be attending, please send us an email.


Spend a week at a resort destination near sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to explore a world of wellness while participating in OLLI courses that you've come to enjoy. This year's dates are May 8-15 and June 12-19.

SharpBrains Summit

OLLI Director Susan Hoffman attended the virtual summit held by SharpBrains in January.  Susan was among 240 people from 15 countries in a live telecast with speakers that included UC Berkeley's Marian Diamond and other scientists and researchers involved in brain fitness.  Alvaro Fernandez, CEO and Founder of SharpBrains, will speak on the directions education will take as it becomes more brain-centric on Wednesday, April 21, from 2:30-4:00 pm at the David Brower Center.
Faculty Profile:  Daniel Kammen
by Bonnie Mager

Q: You gave a wonderful lecture for OLLI this past week reporting on the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. During that talk you described the Conference as one of the most disorganized meetings you have attended. What was the most frustrating thing you encountered? What was your particular part in the conference? 
A: I attended this COP meeting as a member of the Copenhagen Climate Council (http://www.copenhagenclimatecouncil.com/), a group of business and thought-leaders (the group also includes the environmental author Tim Flannery, the CEO of the world's largest wind energy company and one of the largest utilities in the U.S., and until his appointment, U. S. Energy Secretary Chu).  The Copenhagen Climate Council aimed to provide a form for the business community to discuss issues not only what might work in terms next steps to bring about significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  This involves industry summits, informative white papers, and dialogs between government, non-governmental groups, and business leaders.
According to your web site (kammen.berkeley.edu) you received your undergraduate degree in physics from Cornell and masters and doctorate in physics from Harvard. Did you grow up in the East? Do you miss it, or do you now consider yourself now a Californian? You came to Berkeley in 1998. What was the carrot that lured you out here from your position at Princeton?
I grew up in Ithaca, New York, where Cornell is located.  It is great place with beautiful surroundings.  It is hard to beat the Bay Area, however, and both my daughters consider this home.  One was two when we move, the other was born here.
I came to Berkeley because of the legendary Energy and Resources Group, which had an opening for an energy scholar when John Holdren - now President Obama's Science Advisor - left for Harvard.  The faculty and the students in ERG are remarkable in their diversity of interests and skills, creativity, and dedication.  It has been a blast ever since I arrived.
What got you involved in the interdisciplinary approach to your work? You have done work at Cal Tech and at Harvard on renewable energy technologies and resource management.  Was there a particular person, class or experience that directed you to this broader perspective?
While a doctoral student at Harvard, and then at as a post-doctoral fellow at Caltech, interspersed with my physics work and travel in southeast Asia and Latin America, most specifically working in Nicaragua on clean energy.  I was fortunate to travel to Nicaragua with a Berkeley-based group, techNICA that sent technically trained volunteers to work for the Sandinista government on development issues.  I had a remarkable mentor, Bill Lankford, who had developed a particular solar oven design, and was testing and deploying them in a number of communities.  I got my start working with Bill.
At UC Berkeley you are a Professor in the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) , Professor of Public Policy in the Goldman School of Public Policy, and Professor of Nuclear Engineering. What classes at UC Berkeley will you teach this semester? Do you ever feel that you are spread too thin?
I teach a range of classes, all focused on energy.   The courses - in each of the different departments - are all focused around issues of 'Energy and Society', 'Solar energy', 'Energy and development', and 'Energy and climate.'  Students from each of the departments I am in - and many others - take the courses, and many decide to pursue research in the renewable energy area, too.  It is a lot of fun.
You are offering an on-line course through OLLI this winter term. It sounds fascinating (See the OLLI newsletter for January 2010). But an on-line course prohibits interaction with your audience. Do you find that satisfactory?
I am sure that we will find ways to interact.  Generally participants in the course check out my lab's website, http://rael.berkeley.edu, and we get into conversations about past or current research we are doing.
You mentioned in your lecture last Monday that most scientists agree on the conclusions based on evidence of climate change. Can you comment on those few who are in opposition? What part does politics play in interpretations of evidence?
The climate data is complex, and a range of perspectives do exist.  I really can't comment on each individual's perspective.  The climate community is not about a single data set, however, and the weight of evidence is very consistent with the worrying story of human-induced climate change.
One last question:  What do your kids think about you work?
I think they like it.  When I leave the water running while brushing my teeth, they are likely to say, 'Dad, you really should bring your work home.' They are right.

*Dan Kammen will be facilitating an online course on energy resources and policy starting February 16, 2010. Learn more about the Energy Challenge.
This course is co-presented by OLLI @Berkeley and the New York Times.
Osher Foundation Endowment Received

In January, OLLI @Berkeley received a $1 million endowment from the Osher Foundation in recognition of meeting the Foundation's benchmarks along with a $50,000 grant to bridge the time for the accrual and University processing.  OLLI was awarded annual grants of $100,000 from the Foundation for its first four years of operation. With the endowment, those grants will cease, and instead OLLI will receive the accrued interest from the endowment (depending upon interest rates, amount is expected to be $25,000-50,000 annually.

The Lunch Bunch
by Lucille Poskanzer

Green Papaya
2016 Shattuck Avenue, between University Avenue and Addison Street
Enter this small storefront  and you will find a brightly lit very clean place with well-spaced tables, friendly service, and moderate prices. You will also find a completely vegetarian menu that is surprisingly delicious. This is from the family that also owns Tuk Tuk Thai, located further south on Shattuck Avenue. The freshness of the ingredients and the complexity of the sauces will persuade you to eat your vegetables and tofu.

A New Book by Harry Kreisler

Political Awakenings:
Conversations with History
by Harry Kreisler

In this rousing, thoughtful, often funny, and always inspiring volume, a diverse and impressive group of thinkers reflect on those formative experiences that shaped their own political commitments. A fascinating new window into the revealing links between the personal and the political, Political Awakenings will engage readers across generations. Read more...
Give to the OLLI Annual Fund
Thanks to more than 130 contributors so far, we have raised $40,000 toward our goal of $75,000 for this academic year.  The Annual Fund team wants to remind you that expenses increased this year with the move to the beautiful David Brower Center, additional fees charged by the University, and an increase in faculty (and courses!).  So please, everyone who can,  make your contribution to the Annual Fund.

A Request from OLLI
In light of others' allergies and sensitivities, we request that people not wear perfumes or heavy scents to class.

Half-alive Batteries Available for the Taking

Help OLLI reduce, reuse, and recycle!
We have a bowl of batteries that don't have enough juice to mic a teacher for a whole class, but still have some life in them (mostly 9V, but a few AAs, as well). Please take them home and use them up! They can be found in Room 41A University Hall.
Give the Gift of Learning
Share the joy of learning--give someone a gift certificate for an OLLI @Berkeley membership and course.

Contact the OLLI office at 510.642.9934.